What is the State Mammal of Arizona?
Ringtail is the official state mammal of Arizona. It was entitled as the official state mammal of Arizona in 1986. The scientific name of the ringtail is Bassariscus astutsu. Other common names of the ringtail are ringtail cat, miner’s cat, and cacomistle. The law designating the ringtail as the official Arizona state mammal is Section 41-859 (State animals) of the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41 (State Government) Article 5 (State Emblems) Section 41-859.
State Mammal of Arizona Facts—
- Common Name: Ringtail, ringtail cat, miner’s cat and cacomistle
- Scientific Name: Bassariscus astute
- Color: buff to dark brown
- Length: 30–42 cm (12–17 in)
- Weight: 0.7 to 1.5 kg (1.5 to 3.3 lb)
- Diet: Ringtails are omnivores which means they will eat just about anything if it the right size. Some of their food choices are fruit, insects, lizards, snakes, small mammals such as mice, wood rats, squirrels, as well as birds and bird eggs
- Cubs: 2-4 cubs in the litter
- Major strength: dexterity
- Lifespan: 6-9 years in the wild
Arizona’s state mammals, the Ringtails, are cat-sized carnivores that resemble a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail. In fact, they are related to the raccoon and coatimundi. The tail of the ringtail cat is about the length of the head and body with 14-16 black and white bands and a black tip. The ringtail has five toes on each foot equipped with sharp, curved, non-retractile claws.
Ring-tailed cats are found from the western United States to southern Mexico. They are most commonly found in highland forests. They prefer rocky areas, such as canyons, but also occupy a range of lowland habitats, including deserts, woodland, and shrubland. Although they prefer dry environments, they are also common near rivers, where food is easier to find.